I am shocked and saddened to read the news that our Royal Pier has gone into administration. Wales Online said that the storms of last January were partly to blame, though I can’t work out how since the Pier itself was hardly hit by the storms.
Our Royal Pier is a deceptively large structure, boasting an ice cream parlour, a doughnut shop, an amusements arcade, a bar, a snooker hall, a nightclub and a restaurant, not to mention the outside seating area at the back. I do so hope that somebody is prepared to come in and keep the place open.
I was surprised to read that the pier is the oldest in Wales,having first been opened in 1865. In its 150 year history it has stood (semi-successfully) against storms, it has faced multiple stock market crashes, two world wars and 11 Welsh Grand Slams. It would be a dreadful shame to see it sit empty for too long a time now.
The pier itself has been looking a bit worse for wear in recent years, perhaps this is due to the fact that the business has been struggling or perhaps this is part of the cause of the struggle. Either way, it could do with a lick of paint. As our bandstand gets a rather dramatic facelift it may be time for our pier to at least put on some make up. It stands still as an extremely important and iconic feature of our seafront, not for its businesses or its beauty but for its attractiveness to Aber’s most beloved friends, the Starlings. Every year we flock to the beach come rain or.. well, rain, to gaze at the birds’ beautiful dance, if the pier itself were able to charge people for looking at its feathered inhabitants then it would probably be one of the most successful businesses in Wales.
In this still difficult economic climate it is no surprise that some of our local businesses are still struggling. I can only hope that the new buyers are able to turn things around for the Pier, give it that lick of paint that it so desperately needs and grow it into one of Wales’ most iconic piers once again. Let’s not look at this solely as a negative, let’s look also to the opportunity that some new investment could bring.
What’s your greatest memory of the pier? A drunken night at Pier Pressure? An ice cream from Don Gelato? Perhaps a rogue seagull stealing your chips?
Let me know in the comments on facebook!